5 Questions: Nicholas Tremulis

Nicholas_Tremulis Nicholas Tremulis

Closing in on 30 years as a recording artist, Nicholas Tremulis and his group the Nicholas Tremulis Orchestra, or NTO as they’re known affectionately in the Chicagoland area, has recorded over 8 albums starting in 1986 on Island Records and has played and recorded with a trainload of legendary artists such as Keith Richards, Billy Corgan, David Amran, Marianne Faithful, Richard Hell, Kurt Elling, Ian Hunter, David Johansen, Maceo Parker, Ronnie Spector, Jim Lauderdale, Hubert Sumlin, Mavis Staples, Ivan Neville, Rick Danko, Sir Mac Rice, Willie Nile and Wilco. Always rocking, surprising and challenging himself, this is one of the must see live artists Chicago has to offer.

Nick is also in three side projects: Candy Golde, with Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame inductee, Bun E. Carlos,(Cheap Trick) John Stirratt, (Wilco) and Rick Rizzo (11th Dream Day). The Fauntleroys with Alejandro Escovedo, Ivan Julian (Richard Hell, Matthew Sweet) and Linda Pitmon and the Chi-Town Social Club with Darryl Jones (Rolling Stones) Vince Wiburn Jr. (Miles Davis) and Shawn Christopher (Chaka Kahn). A sought after session musician, producer and arranger; Tremulis has recently produced an album with local folk artists, Bittersweet Drive as well as playing guitar on Derek And The Dominos/ George Harrison sideman, Bobby Whitlock’s forthcoming album.

1. What’s been keeping you up at night?
How do we desegregate music audiences? I came up on major labels in the 80’s. I’m not a big fan of this time in music, my own included and maybe especially, but when we stepped out on a stage our audience was 50/50 black, white and all points in between and that was normal for most bands during that time. Music is a beautiful way of bringing people together. When it does it it’s at its best, I think. One would think the digital age would only have made audiences even more diverse. But in an effort to sell us what we are supposed to want , we’ve allowed ourselves to become profiled right out of who we might be, love, like and what moves us. Let’s not continue to be steered away from one another. “The war is over, if you want it to be.”

2. What’s the coolest thing you’ve seen or heard lately?
I’m digging the new Tyler The Creator record, Flower Boy. Great lyrical work and the arranging is mind blowing. Also, continuing to be blown away by author, Eduardo Galeano. Maybe the most succinct writing I’ve ever read.

3. What’s the most exciting thing you’re working on right now?
I’m about to record with a new group I’m in. The Chi-Town Social Club. Shawn Christopher (Chaka Kahn), Vince Wilburn (Miles Davis), Darryl Jones (Rolling Stones) and me. Also, finished a record with Candy Golde. Gotta find a home
for that.

4. If you could add anyone, alive or dead to your team, who would it be?
I’m gonna leave the dead to rest as they deserve it. I’d love to have Herbie Hancock in my corner. He’s such a highly evolved musical force. To swim in his river of knowledge would be a privilege.

5. When the movie of your life is made, what will it be called?
The Life and Death and Life and Death and Life and Death of Greek Boy